The Difference Between Metal Fabrication & Welding

Metal fabrication and welding are critical in most metalworking processes, and although they are different, some people use them interchangeably.

While both processes are used in the shaping and management of metal, welding is a single step process while metal fabrication involves multiple steps of which welding is part. In this post, we help you decipher the difference between the two.

Metal Fabrication vs. Welding

As the name suggests, metal fabrication refers to the modification of a sheet of metal into a specific product through such processes as bending, cutting, stamping, and bolting. Before commencing with the metal fabrication process, the engineer has to have a design layout as any wrongly done bends, cuts, or welds would be a waste of material. Welding is the joining of two or more metallic pieces, thermoplastics, or glass. Welders make use of techniques such as shielded metal, gas tungsten, flux core, and gas metal welding. Unlike metal fabrication, welding does not require thorough, in-depth planning, machining, forming, or cutting. The Difference Between Metal Fabrication & Welding

Another major difference between the two is in the tools used for each. Metal fabricators are likely to have such tools as wire cutters, grinder discs, throatless shears, fasteners, and drill bits. On the other hand, welders use equipment such as chipping hammers, abrasives, soapstone, electrode holders, welding clamps, vice and vice grips, and TIG (tungsten inert gas) consumables. Welders are also required to have safety equipment such as welding helmets for the eyes as well as respirators to avoid the inhalation of dangerous fumes.

Although some metal fabricators can weld and vice versa, the two processes require different skill sets. A metal fabricator may not be able to create strong and lasting welds, just like a welder might not be able to cut, bend, mold, and assemble the final product.

At Marvel’s Portable Welding, provide our clients with unique metallic design projects using aluminum, galvanized steel, and stainless steel, among other metals. Our structural engineers have the knowledge and experience to answer any of your questions regarding these two metalworking processes along with the other services which we offer. Find out more on how we can help you with your metalwork needs by contacting us today.